|Donatella De Murtas|
|Friday, 11 February 2011 12:44|
Name: Donatella De Murtas
Where are you based? London, UK
What is it that you do in the film industry? How would you describe your job/s?
With 10 years of production and broadcasting experience. I have worked across many genres, including environmental, travel and human interest programmes, promos, commercials and short stories, researching, developing, scripting, producing and directing in English, Italian and Spanish. I was one of the FFC founders in 2000, held office as Board Member for four years and created the first Filmmakers for Conservation Award.
Who or what inspired you to work in film and why cover nature and conservation issues?
Originally from Italy, I studied Letters, Philosophy and Languages in Milan, achieving a BA in Foreign and Modern Languages and Literatures and a MA in English Linguistics. I moved to London in 1994 and after a journey through the corporate world, via finance, marketing, conference organizing, PR and charity companies, I remembered my dream: to tell stories about this amazing planet earth. I achieved a Diploma in Travel Writing and Photography and travelled through Africa, South America and Asia, but soon realized that the printed page could not reflect the multifaceted wonders of nature and decided to embrace the documentary art form. I trained in camera, directing, editing and developed researching, writing and producing skills while exploring natural history and anthropology. I also understood that paradise was here on earth and that I could only be happy with a meaningful career that promoted a message for conservation, offering my life, talents and energy to the only thing that mattered to me: nature.
What is the favourite programme or series you've worked on?
Whale Weekend and Tiger Weekend, two special co-productions for Nat Geo and WWF conservation campaigns.
What has been your biggest challenge filming in the field?
Filming along the Shire River to Lake Malawi and along the Zambezi River to the Victoria Falls, a re-enactment of David Livingstone's epic expedition, for Treks in a Wild World - Malawi & Zambia for National Geographic.
How has technology changed your job? Has it hindered or enhanced telling the conservation story?
Technology has decidedly enhanced conservation stories: super high-speed and infrared cameras reveal previously unknown aspects of plant and animal behaviour, HD enable us to capture perfectly accurate images, digital formats facilitate the process of filming, editing and exporting footage in the field in record time and the advent of broadband internet lets us watch and share videos in a new way and on a global scale.
What is your favourite place in nature?
Any new place I visit becomes my favourite place, or better it becomes part of me, composing the mosaic of my life. I feel a special love for Africa, Thailand, Mexico and Egypt and anywhere with a beautiful sea and dolphins I am in heaven!
With all your field experience, what is your biggest concern when it comes to the environment?
My biggest concern is overpopulation which is destroying the planet at an unprecedented speed with catastrophic consequences for global warming, deforestation on a global scale, pollution of the oceans, rivers and natural habitats and the loss of biodiversity on land and sea, due to overfishing, medicinal use, fashion and an unhealthy Western style diet.
How do you think the media industry should be addressing environment and conservation issues?
I believe that producing documentaries is to assume the responsibility of telling the truth in order to involve people and to courageously and conscientiously use a very powerful medium to move people to change. Working in documentaries means to rediscover the wonders of the planet: telling the story and protecting the natural environment become inseparable. I wish the media industry would focus on inspiring stories about individuals who have made a difference, showing that it is possible to coexist with the planet's ecosystems, not protecting the planet for selfish monopoly of future generations of human beings, but for the earth's sake, reclaiming nature's right to be and creating a responsible and respectful sustainable culture for the future.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have just finished editing a series of short stories about Australian Aborigines and I am developing a documentary series about dolphins.
Where are you going next?
I am going to marvel at the migration of the Monarch butterflies in Mexico and of the Humpback whales in the Gulf of California and later in the year I plan to meet my beloved dolphins in the Bahamas.
What would you like to remembered for?
For reawakening in people a sense of beauty, wonder and reverence for nature.